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Grateful Dead Live at Ventura County Fairgrounds on 1985-07-13

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Grateful Dead Live at Ventura County Fairgrounds on 1985-07-13

One More Saturday Night-> Fire On The Mountain, Walkin' Blues, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Mama Tried-> Big River, Bird Song-> The Music Never Stopped Touch Of Gray, Women Are Smarter, Terrapin Station-> Drums-> The Wheel-> Cryptical Envelopement-> The Other One-> Comes A Time-> Around & Around-> Sugar Magnolia, E: U.S. Blues

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Ventura County Fairgrounds
Location Ventura, CA

Source SBDmc> DAT> CD> eac> cool edit> shn


SBDmc> DAT> CD> eac> cool edit> shn; hiss cleaned up with Cooledit
(non-cleaned version may be available from Nick too); crackling sound on
both discs here and there apparently due to Phil's equip; via N. Georges


Reviewer: Laguna Lil - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 13, 2015
Subject: Fire on the Mountain
There actually was a fire back in the hills near Ojai during this weekend. It had been burning for a week and it went on burning for a week or more. Everyone was pretty stressed and we came down the mountain to see the Dead play in Ventura at the beach. The air was cool and moist and the concert was one of the best I had ever attended.
They pretty much opened with Fire on the Mountain and as I recall ended the 2nd day with Smokestack Lightning and Not Fade Away.
I know some of you set listers are gonna correct me but remember you are/were newish to the GD. In the days past if you could keep track of what they played you were missing the point :-)
Peace n Love
Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2015
Subject: Best Fire on the Mountain ever
February 15, 2007: Funny that nobody mentions this obvious fact. The song is one of the weakest in the Dead canon and nearly every time it's a knuckle-dragging exercise in extreme tedium.

This version is interesting and it's because of the 7th member of the Dead, the unsung hero of the best post-1974 year the Dead existed (1985): Dan Healy.

I bow down.

Adding: if you don't think that Healy was a key irreplaceable contributor to the sound of the band in '85 (indeed, all through the early 80s), you are mistaken. As to whether the band was "inspired" in 1985, I'd say simply that they were taking the drugs they needed to take. Of course, the band -- including Healy -- paid an infamous price for all that fun. After 1985, the Dead's ability to perform began to decline in a very serious way. They would never again mount a tour remotely approaching the creativity and intensity of that summer's.

Addendum 8 years later (June 24, 2015): the Bird Song here is pretty special, too.
Reviewer: kee-zee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2015
Subject: Almost aflame still you don't feel the heat~So Cal
Very nice sound..Another HOT day on the beach~30 SPF recommended .Give It a Whirl~~Forever Grateful>Forever Dead~!!
Reviewer: MrRichardFader - - April 18, 2015
Subject: Dan Healey
I never thought Dan Healey was great but I never wanted to speak out in school. I thought maybe there was something I didn't know and didn't want to look stupid. But look how much the GD's sound improved once he was gone. Dan Healey cheated us by minimizing Bobby's guitar.

Dan Healey was a petty asshole. What a douche!
Reviewer: Cousin al - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 21, 2014
Subject: The mountain was on fire
Yeah man the mountain WAS on fire during the Fire ... Finally some confirmation for one of my stories ... Far out ... I did whole East Coast tour... It was the summer I graduated high school.. Valedictorian no less ... I kid you not
.. The valedictorian at the boarding school for screw ups.. A metaphor for my life ... After East Coast tour I sat down to patch my bones but then had to get back trucking on ... My boy Roge had a Peoples Express ticket to Denver... So I scratched up enough money to fly with him there ... Then took a bus and hitched to Red Rocks where CSN was playing and picked up a ride to Ventura... Unfortunately, I got shut out of this show but watched the entire show from atop a Porta John ... I had a great view of Jerry and the fire during that Fire.... But I got wicked ill that night .. Brutal ... Still made it into the show the next afternoon however... I pulled myself up over the side of the bleachers and I saw Garcia smoking backstage and I waved to him and he gave me thumbs up... Man I was just thrilled!
Reviewer: upNorth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 21, 2012
Subject: Sea Creatures
I think Healy had this one cranked for all the aquatic life out there in the Pacific that could not dance on the terra firma, but more of an aquatic boogie! I bet the music attracted some of the more curious marine life. Classic adventurous Grateful Dead. Thank you thank you thank you!

Alas, I wish I were wise enough at 16 to know to somehow get to Ventura on 7/13-7/14 '85!
Reviewer: Pangolin22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 17, 2011
Subject: Always love a good summer 85 show
The band seemed to have renewed energy and when shaking up the setlists a bit. Love the first set Scarlet-less Fire and a rare Duprees. I don't know what happened during the set break but Jerry seemed to be in a bit of a rush during the Touch and that super-fast US Blues. I wasn't crazy about the 85 revival of Cryptical but it's not terrible. Other highlights for me are the beautiful Bird Song and a gorgeous Comes a Time.
Reviewer: phlpsvll - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2010
Subject: Fire on the Mountain
There was in fact a fire on the mountain behind the band on the hills of Ventura. Controlled burns done by the fire department.
I had no idea Cryptical had been played that summer, so it took me by total surprise. What a great memory
Reviewer: cvenez - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2010
Subject: good 80s show
While I generally don't listen to many shows past 1977, this is a first set I find myself coming back to. Every song is tight and well played with some great energy. Even Fire, which I find hit-or-miss and sometimes boring, is one of the finer versions I know of

Overall the Dead's second sets in the 80s and 90s (with some exceptions) don't impress me and this is one of those. Although tight, there is minimal jamming which is why in my opinion their first sets are better in the later years. If I want to hear a Cryptical, Other One, or Comes a Time, I'll go for a 70's show where the playing is better and the jams are more exploratory.

Good how though, especially if you like 80s Dead.
Reviewer: cgelfer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2010
Subject: Hi Quality Recording.
I love the sound quality of this recording. Rivals anything they have released. Superb. A first set stand alone Fire is nice unique treat. High energy start to the show. Forces you to join right away which I like. But its the sounds quality that is the star.
Reviewer: Sedula - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2009
Subject: Cyptical and complaints
12 Joshua said: ""they did crypical for the first time in years and you all want to complain !!!!!!!!!!!! "

I saw the breakout at the Greeks, and while I wasn't complaining it was clear that Cryptical was a song that they could not perform anywhere near the way they used too. It isn't that hard of a tune (I've played jazz guitar 25+ years) and Jerry just botched some of them musically and lyrically. Of course I loved seeing it, but listening back it was clear how far they had sunk since '70-->'74. That was the sad part.
Reviewer: StillDeadTruckin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2009
Subject: Fire on the mountain
Hey Majordomo, Shockman is absolutely correct there was a brush fire in the hills that day. It was probably two or three miles from the venue up in the hills of Ventura. Of course when they started playing fire on the mountain we all went crazy yelling and dancing.The fire was behind the stage and I don"t think the band could even see it.
Thats one of those events that you never forget and helps you remember something special of a particular show, of the many.
Reviewer: shipofthesun - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 3, 2009
Subject: In defense of Healy's abilities
. If Healy was that good, he wouldn't have been fired in 90 for secretly messing with their sound.

To be blunt, you have no clue what you are talking about. Healy was let go in 94, pre-tour, for what have been called "personal reasons". It had nothing to do with his abilities sound-wise.

I have aud tapes that I made from the Omni '91 run that are as powerful as anything anyone has ever done in an arena. You can hear the band and Healy using the PA's enormous, clean volume to make the Omni just ring on things like the double stops on Greatest Story. BAM...BAM.BAM...on a good system it just amazes. Healy, along with a few others, including Owsley, reinvented how sound systems work. They and he deserve all the credit in the world, as without their contributions, the modern day rock concert in it's current form would not exist. Sound systems went from two little columns and an amp for announcing songs for the big band to 300 people, to the high-end, precision music reproduction and amplification systems we have today that allow 50,000 people to hear a pin drop from half a mile away. Healy was instrumental in making that happen, and also making the magic that was the Grateful Dead happen on a nightly basis.
Reviewer: drspark61 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 13, 2009
Subject: Well worth the listen
Another one of those 1985 shows that was crackling with energy and full of surprises. They were in good supply that summer.

I attended this alone, as most of my friends opted to stay home and watch Live Aid. I remember wondering at the time if I was making a mistake by attending what was just another in a long line of Dead shows for me and missing the shared experience of hanging with my friends and watching an historic concert on TV. I didn't regret it then or now.

The following day was solid, but not as interesting and magical as this.

My only knock is that it's a little short.

That news clip on YouTube that someone else mentioned is worth checking out.
Reviewer: John Bouffard - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 13, 2009
Subject: Grateful Dead
@ their best! Fire,Duprees,Birdsong,Music,Touch,Terrapin,Wheel,Other One and Cryptical are just fantastic. I would listen to them again and again. Now I am going to say this...........
The best Comes A Time I have ever heard.
Reviewer: cb18201 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 13, 2009
Subject: this show is...
really really good, OMSN > Fire is such a rare opener and they are really on top of it the whole show. deff worth a good listen. also for anyone interested, there is a new circulating Dylan/Dead set from 7/19/87. These sets in good SBD are somewhat rare

added sometime towards the end of 2008 i believe
Reviewer: Critter183 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 4, 2009
Subject: This was my very first dead tape.
A dead head friend gave it to me. It got me hooked.

I lost that one probably 10 years ago in my divorce, but finally found it again here. To my dismay,m the show seemingly could not be downloaded.

However, with Firefox and download helper plugin, I was able to get all of the mp3 files and burn a cd.

Hint to Bob below. ;)
Reviewer: shockman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 9, 2008
Subject: This must be heaven
I was there. I can remember almost every almost every second. We were milling around in the parking lot when the Dead sound checked. Phil's bass was popping and crackling. The opener "One More Saturday Night" caused my dancing bones to curl within my skin. I finally realized a person can dance two different dances at the same time.
13th and 14th of July, 1985 will always be etched in the genetic make-up of my still twisting DNA. Too bad this cannot be successfully downloade in digital form. I do have an excellent soundboard tape, though.

PS:(addendum 7/09/08) I can now that helps. "Fire on the Mountain" literally smokes here. One of the few 80's shows where it is not caboosed to "Scarlet Begonias". This version of FOTM is so hot because the hills behind the stage that day, were on fire while the Dead played "Fire on the Mountain".
Reviewer: gumby69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 3, 2008
Subject: On Tv.
Hey guys and gals check out the 10 min show on youtube from this concert. In the search field type Grateful Dead - West 57th (CBS) 1985 bring back some memories for ya. :)
Reviewer: jayhawkhead - - February 17, 2008
Subject: Are you special?
1st show ever tried to get into but, alas, failed. Was 15 and this was the same day as Live Aid. Stuck around in the lot for some of the first set, remember FOTM. Cop was clearing out the lot where we were listening, we stayed put, and were asked "are you special"? We decided to be on our way after that. Went to Carl's Jr. for consolation and saw a guy that was a dead ringer for Pigpen walk through. Fun memories of the beginning of many times with the boys.
Reviewer: Famous KC Amos - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 26, 2007
Subject: Dragon with matches was loose in the hills
I was lucky enoug to be at this one, and clearly hollard out "Dupress Diamond Blues" well before it was obvious. Being only 15 at the time an older head nodded 'no way'. Sure enough Jerry looked over his glasses and confirmed with some very Dupress filled notes. Everything was to good to be true that day. We were about 15 feet from the stage so I know jerry heard my Dupress call loud and clear.

I remember leaning against the railing stage about 15 minutes before the show, and seeing Jerry walking gingerly in his red shirt, taking some mean drags of a smoke as he headed toward stage side. It was so casual, no one hollard or none of that , man dead heads are where it's at.

The Fire on the hill that inspired the Saturday into Fire On The Mountain opener is just one of those unspoken things, where you know your witnessing something very unique and you can just sit back and smile smile smile...

I think they even invented ways to cool our asses down during the break that year, if it wasn't with a "Whole Pale of Water" it was with some hoses sprinkling down from above, sure felt good on this smokey, ash dry heat, fire burnin day.

So Surreal
Reviewer: Alex, Geddy, Neil, Jerry, Bobby, Phil, Brent, Mickey, Billy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 11, 2007
Subject: " was a very good year..."
spring '88 was pretty damn rippin'... but '85 on the whole is just stellar.. naysayers can point to subpar Jerry vocals on some occasions but the setists were outta site all summer long, this was their best stretch of the decade, by far, just listen to this entire summer run then the fall shows.. dank.

this is a groovy SBD but Phil could stand to be a little more out front in the mix throughout and as someone else pointed out, there's some static but that's from Phil bombing.
Reviewer: onlyluvcanphil - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 7, 2007
Subject: Light and Darrrrrk.....
Since I have found this site, I have been able to conduct nightly educational escapades in to the vault to steal a glimpse of the improvisational genius---the fat man rocks, and I miss him---Summer 85 is sick----thank you for these tidbits of strangeness--you won't be dissapointed in this comes a time---I can listen to these all night long--oh wait I just did---
Reviewer: shell020 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2007
Subject: Saturday Night
They opened the show with Saturday Night! How often does that happen? WoooHooo!
Reviewer: iriefairie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 8, 2007
Subject: um
Wow. I was at this one too.
Reviewer: 12 Joshua - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2007
Subject: Uh......HELLO!!!!!
"they did crypical for the first time in years and you all want to complain !!!!!!!!!!!! "

errr.. check yer stats there chief. They pulled it off the shelf a month earlier on:

06/16/85- Greek Theater, University Of California - Berkeley, CA

then played it 2 more times at

06/24/85- River Bend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH
06/30/85- Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

before playing it at Ventura.
Reviewer: 3puttdouble - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 2, 2007
Subject: Set Break
Jerry must've gotten quite a BuMp during the set break, that 'Touch' is breakneck speed. Phil sounds like he's just holding on for dear life. Great sound + average setlist + average playing = average show. Still pretty darn good.
Reviewer: hezgone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 17, 2007
Subject: Attended
The wind was a howlin' that day. A lot of the weird sounds are from the wind wippin around the stage, you should hear the aud recordings!
Reviewer: gr8fulscott - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2007
Subject: hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
they did crypical for the first time in years and you all want to complain !!!!!!!!!!!! give me a break this shit is awesome ...jerry is gone appreciate the fact that we have this.
Reviewer: President Nixon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 20, 2007
Subject: Always a hit with me
I have never heard a bad version of the Bird Song, but in this one Comes a time, and Fire on the Mountain stole my heart.
Reviewer: moving picture mind - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 19, 2007
Subject: oh man
great show kinda having a problem with the static from phil's equip. but sounds great it gets 4 stars PEACE
Reviewer: Liamfinnegan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 17, 2007
Subject: No good tour after 85? Well opinion is opinion- But I agree
That Healy- and do not forget Bralove- were indispensible to the band's sound in the 80's

I have always loved this show- just had to chime in when someone says no good tour was mounted after 85. Spring 87 is awesome
Reviewer: ccclyde - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 14, 2007
Subject: Great Show! Thanks Archive
I can't say I totally agree that either "Fire on the Mountain" is one of the weaker songs, or that Dan Healy was the reason they sounded so good in 1985.

The lyrics alone make Fire a terrific song. The beat is ancient sounding.

Dan Healy was good sometimes, but the Dead were a little cleaner in 1985 and inspired by their 20th anniversary. For whatever reason, they rocked that year more than any other in the 80's (although 80 and 89 were arguably as good). If Healy was that good, he wouldn't have been fired in 90 for secretly messing with their sound.

This show has excellent sound, and a neat setlist. It's a nice show from one of the best summer tours ever. Sit back and enjoy.
Reviewer: majordomo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 14, 2007
Subject: breezy!
just had seen the summer tour alpine to pitt. always thought sat nite/fire was the craziest thing. saw pics in the golden road with gusty winds and all--what was it like being there? hot summer--was there really fire burning in the mountains? gonzo times---where did the wild and free america go? let's take it back.
Reviewer: flashbackmagic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2007
Subject: very tastey indeed
I've had this up in my browser for 5 days straight, and still havnt gotten enough.

SETLIST is just magical, Not your usual suspects.
Energy is there, as well as crisp sound.

This is one book you CAN judge by its cover, just look at that setlist.
Reviewer: methylman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2007
Subject: WOW 1st set Sat. Night / Fire
This show is unique, and crystal clear quality. I'm glad I could download it before the "crackdown." The "Fire" held me spellbound until the last notes; pure GD magic.
Reviewer: luvvdubz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2007
Subject: Yum....
Reviewer: Carp JC - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 4, 2007
Subject: Super stuff
WOW !!!! Im not sure if its just cause its supersunday but this show could and should be one of the top 5 of all time! Major surprise, super clear.... im sittin here cleanin the seat of my chair ...... might just need to grab an adult beverage and get this party started
Reviewer: Bobby-Clifton - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 2, 2006
Subject: Incredible !
What an incredible show - and I love the clear sound ! Where in the world can I get this for download ?!!! doesn't have it. DicksPicks, perhaps ?

I've never been out west, but I've seen plenty of shows here in NJ and NY back in the 80s thru early 90s. Mostly Meadowlands Arena in Rutherford, NJ, but also some in Saratoga, NY.

Happy listening ...

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